The Kennesaw State University Field Station, managed by the Office of Research, is a 25-acre property located along a tree-lined road parallel to Interstate 75 approximately two miles from the Kennesaw Campus.

Field Station projects span multiple colleges, from an ongoing study of European starlings by assistant professor of biology Sarah Guindre-Parker to a small farm with edible vegetables supervised by geography professors Jason Rhodes and Vanessa Slinger-Friedman.

In addition to giving faculty a chance to engage in interdisciplinary research projects, the Field Station also offers the community multiple activities to learn about sustainability. The Field Station offers community partners educational programming, activities, and special events related to sustainability. These activities have included a Beginner Beekeeping Workshop, Small Farms Tool demonstration, and the very popular workshop on Growing Culinary Mushrooms at home.

Additionally, the facility welcomes volunteers to participate in weekly community service opportunities assisting with field and ground maintenance, planting, harvesting, and helping with seasonal necessities.

Research at the Field Station

Current Research

  • Field Station

    Applied and Integrated Crop Science

    At the KSU Field Station, the KSU PlantEcoFizz lab is integrating physiological measurements of crops grown under various conditions with their physical (thermal), chemical (sugar, nutrients), and biological (leaf & root microbes) characteristics.

    In collaboration with Dr. Sathish Gurupatham from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Mario Bretfeld and students are currently working to understand whether organic farming translates into differences of the biochemical and thermal properties – and thus the shelf life – of tomatoes.

  • Mushrooms

    Semi-Automated Mushroom Production

    In 2017 alone, mushroom sales accounted for more than $1.2 billion in U.S. economic impact with over 929 million pounds produced according to the American Mushroom Institute. Yet these spore-bearing fruiting bodies of fungi, known for their nutritional and medicinal properties, are still underutilized. 

    Dr. Chris Cornelison and Dr. Kyle Gabriel of KSU's BioInnovation Laboratory are trying to change that trend by leveraging technology to optimize high growth yields and varieties of this crop in Georgia.

  • FAFL

    Forensic Anthropology Field Lab (FAFL)

    The mission of FAFL is to provide opportunities in research, training, and service related to forensic anthropology and related disciplines. Our field lab includes a variety of open, wooded, and underground environments to facilitate cutting-edge research and training in clandestine grave recovery.

  • Starlings

    Urbanization and the Impact on Starlings

    Urban environments can offer increased opportunities for wildlife—such as new types of food or shelter—but also new dangers. Building sustainable cities will require understanding how urban living influences animals, including both the benefits and costs that come with life in these novel environments. At the Kennesaw State University Field Station, the Guindre-Parker lab is exploring how urbanization shapes the behavior and physiological health of birds.

  • American Chestnut

    American Chestnut Tree Restoration

    The surprising discovery of two wild American chestnut trees at the KSU Field Station was the catalyst for a new area of research in conservation. Field Station Operations Manager Michael Blackwell and Dr. Kyle Gabriel received a grant from The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF), which originally confirmed the identification of the trees through genetic testing. 

  • Food Forest

    KSU Food Forest

    The KSU Food Forest serves as a model of sustainable urban cultivation, demonstrating the potential of food forest systems to mitigate climate change and promote food security and health. The KSU Food Forest project was created by geography professors Dr. Jason Rhodes and Dr. Vanessa Slinger-Friedman, along with Michael Blackwell, operations manager of the KSU Field Station.